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Vintage 101: The Gods Have Spoken

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another Vintage 101! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're going to be tackling which cards from Theros: Beyond Death look interesting for Vintage play, as well as covering the Vintage Format Championship event from Magic Online over the weekend!

We've got no time to waste, as Elspeth is closing in on us, so let's get cracking!

Beyond the Death

Theros: Beyond Death is upon us, so let's take a look at what cards are looking interesting for Vintage. Thankfully after a year of 2019 cards, some of these 2020 cards don't seem so bad, at least not for Vintage. As such we only really have a few cards to talk about from this set.

Underworld Breach

Underworld Breach [THB]

This is a card with a lot of chatter behind it, and is easily one of the more debate-worthy cards of the set for eternal formats. Being a cheaper version of Yawgmoth's Will while having an effect that does not exile the card cast with Escape (as Escape just puts the card back into the graveyard) is pretty insane, so it will be interesting to see if this card is worth it in Vintage where cards like Black Lotus exist. This card with Lotus means as long as you can continually exile three cards you can recast Lotus. This also seems to work really well with control shells that can play multiple of these and use them as mini-Delve spells to get value off things like Time Walk and the like, and of course casting less than 3 mana has drawn the attention of using Sun Titan in an Oath type shell to combo off. In addition, all in versions of Oath shells with zero creatures and Memory's Journey can play this card to utilize a possible Storm kill with the entire library in the graveyard.

What's interesting about this card is that while on the cover it seems pretty busted, in practice it doesn't really seem any more busted than things we got going on already like Tinker and Bolas's Citadel. The only difference here is that this card is not restricted and is cheap to cast, which makes it worth the look. I have a feeling we'll see some pretty interesting decks based around this card, and while it might be a bit much for Legacy, for Vintage it might be just fine.

Thassa's Oracle

Thassa's Oracle [THB]

This card is excessively interesting, as it provides another way that a card like Doomsday can end the game, but it does so in a much cleaner manner than a card like Laboratory Maniac does. If your opponent is strictly banking on hard removal to save them by killing your creature to prevent the win, Thassa's Oracle has them sorely mistaken in that regards when you're operating with an empty library. See, even with removal in that case which would reduce devotion to zero, because the effect stipulates X being greater than or equal, then you still win the game with Oracle removed. What's nice about this card too is that in multiples it can act as a 2 mana scry 2 and just hang out as a creature if need be, and it isn't as bad on an empty board as a Laboratory Maniace is. The other consideration of this card in Vintage comes from the following combo-centric card.

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That's right, Hermit Druid is fully legal in Vintage and is unrestricted. The idea of a combo deck utilizing Druid + Oracle, especially with spells like Once Upon a Time existing to help tie the cards together is very intriguing. I would not be surprised to see some builds around this for sure.

Soul-Guide Lantern

Soul-Guide Lantern [THB]

While on the outside this looks like another Nihil Spellbomb effect, it's worth noting that this card does exile each opponent's graveyard, meaning that it can be utilized through cards like Leyline of Sanctity which has been known to have been played by Dredge from time to time. In addition it can be used in graveyard centric decks without also impacting their own graveyard so this thing definitely has some potential to see play. Costing one is an upside since it can be picked up with cards like Paradoxical Outcome as well.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove [THB]

The last of the cards we'll be talking about today, this card came up in my feed being discussed in the RUG Planeswalkers deck, and now that I've had a chance to think about it, I can definitely see how interesting this would be in that deck. Besides providing an Exploration effect that synergizes well with Wrenn and Six this card also fixes your mana so that you are never without the colors you need even if you have more Wastelands in play than actual duals. The fact too that this is a 2/4 and dodges removal like Lightning Bolt makes it intriguing. This is overall a pretty cool card and would be neat to see around.

Vintage Format Championships - 1/11

This past weekend boasted the culmination of the Vintage Playoffs throughout this past year on Magic Online, the Vintage Format Championships! 40 players qualified for this event, so let's take a look at the breakdown of what was published.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dredge 1st Sentiment
Jeskai Arcanist 2nd DiscoverN
U/R Xerox 3rd Menta_Li_Ill
Oath of Druids 4th Miharu_Fuyumiya
Dredge 5th Mathonical
Jeskai Arcanist 6th AMiracle
PO Storm 7th Legion273
PO Storm 8th SoulStrong
White Eldrazi 9th Espatrianero
BUG Midrange 10th Teredier
Blue Golos Stax 11th GGoggles
Dredge 12th Lord_Beerus
DPS 13th SandydogMTG
Dredge 14th Swiftwarkite2
PO Storm 15th The Atog Lord (Rich Shay)
PO Storm 16th ThePowerNine (Justin Franks)
Dredge 17th Itsukis
Dredge 18th Coffeannan
BUG Midrange 19th Condescend
PO Storm 20th Pokerswizard
BUG Midrange 21st Shir Kahn (Nico Bohny)
Dredge 22nd Eruxus
Dredge 23rd Smmenen (Stephen Menendian)
U/R Xerox 24th Lampalot (Michael Bonde)
Ravager Shops 25th Montolio (Andy Markiton)
White Eldrazi 26th DancingJesus191
Survival 27th GutoCmtt
RUG Walkers 28th Eheh_Dude
BUG Midrange 29th JoanAnton
PO Storm 30th CyrusCG (Cyrus Corman-Gill)
Survival 31st TheLastGnu
White Eldrazi 32nd KauffJ

There were a lot of powerful wizards in this event, so major congrats to everyone for making it this far. It's pretty cool to see. However, at the end of the event, there was one winner and that was Sentiment on Dredge!

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This list seems very powerful and pretty indicative of what most lists are doing right now with the archetype, so major congrats to Sentiment for taking it down!

In Second place was a Jeskai Arcanist list by DiscoverN!

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This list lightens up a tad on the actual number of Dreadhorde Arcanist, and that's likely fine. It still seems definitely strong. Congrats to DiscoverN!

In Third place we had another take on Xerox, this time dropping white for just strictly U/R by Menta_Li_Ill! Congrats to them on their finish!

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In Fourth place we had Oath extraordinaire Miharu_Fuyumiya showing us how to best play with Niv-Mizzet and Griselbrand!

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Further down the event showcased a wide array of different strategies, with even some decks like Survival returning as well as White Eldrazi doing very well here as well. One deck that jumped out of me that looked really cool was a blue-aligned take on Golos Stax by GGoggles.

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All in all this looked like an insane event and was very cool to see happen.

Vintage Challenge - 1/11

While the Format Championship event was going on, there was still another Challenge event, with a total of 60 players! Great turnout even with the Champs event going on! Let's dive right into the Top 8 of this event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
4C Walkers 1st Svaca (Tomas Mar)
PO Storm 2nd PProteus
BUG Midrange 3rd Bahra
Jeskai Arcanist 4th ChubbyRain (Matthew Murray)
BUG Midrange 5th D00mWake
Ravager Shops 6th Otakkun
PO Storm 7th I_B_True
Dredge 8th Sti

This is a pretty decent Top 8, with the master of disaster (and 4C decks) Tomas Mar (Svaca) taking down the event on 4C Walkers.

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As we discussed this list previously last week, this is very much a RUG base manabase deck with a black splash to enable things like Deathrite Shaman. Congrats to Tomas on an impressive finish!

In Second Place of this event we had PProteus on PO Storm, splashing white for Monastery Mentor and Teferi, Time Raveler.

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Very powerful list indeed! Congrats on the finish!

Also showing up in the Top 4 of this event was our good friend Matt Murray, who posted his data on this event here.

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Also another list that caught my eye was a sweet Bant Humans list by Albimtg.

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This list is pretty cool and definitely showcases the power of Once Upon a Time in these creature based decks. Very cool.

This looked like a fun event even with 39-40 people out for the Championship event.

The Spice Corner

A good friend of mine 5-0'ed with a sweet Emry, Lurker of the Loch and Urza, Lord High Artificer build! Check it out!

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Also, I'd like to firmly believe that AntiRush is out there living their best life, playing all the best cards, because their lists certainly show it.

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! It's shaping up to be an exciting year already for Vintage, so let's keep it up next week as we continue our journey into the format.

As always you can reach me on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube, and Patreon! I'm still hashing out the next episode of "The Bazaar of Moxology" as you can see by my Twitter posts on the subject. In addition, you can always reach me on the MTGGoldfish Discord server as well as the Vintage Streamers Discord ran by Brady Iba and Justin Gennari!

In addition, Brady wanted me to pass along news of a Charity Vintage event occurring at Social Capital in Oklahoma City on January 19th. Entry fee is $20 and all event proceeds go to Infant Crisis Services. In fact, every 2 entries provides diapers for a baby for a month and every five entries feeds a baby for a whole month. Pretty cool stuff!

Until next time folks, keep on casting Moxen!

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